Baby Name News: From fashion, sports and teentown
This week’s news includes thoughts from teenagers about their names – popular and otherwise – fashionable cosmopolitan names, and some awesome alliteration.
Emma and Sophia are all grown up! Ok, not all of them – as we know, they were the first and fourth most popular baby names in the US last year. But children given these names when they first hit the Top 10 are tweens and teenagers now, and old enough to know that their names are popular.
Is that a problem? Not for these teens. One called Sophia says, “Because my name is so common, I have given myself the task of creating a name for myself, trying to stand apart from everyone else with the same name.” Emma says, “I’m going to make everyone else wish they had a name as cool as mine.”
So if you’re worried that your child will suffer from sharing a name with lots of their peers, take heart: it doesn’t have to be that way.
Baseball babies: Bagwell and Bauer
Inspired by your favorite sports team? Lots of parents are. Here are a few recent arrivals with baseball names.
A fire alarm meant that baby Adrian’s mother was evacuated from the hospital in the middle of labor, so friends suggested he should get a fiery middle name like Blaze or Fuego (à la Robin Thicke’s son). In the end, mom’s love of baseball won out. Adrian’s middle name is Dodger, after the Los Angeles Dodgers.
If you’re feeling the love for baseball-related names, here are some ideas to start you off.
High-fashion names: Otto and Annelot
Nash of Nashville
NSYNC fans were pleased to hear that band member Chris Kirkpatrick welcomed a baby boy, Nash Dylan, last week. If you read the news, you may have spotted that he was born in Nashville, Tennessee. The inevitable next question for name nerds is, are more babies called Nash in Nashville than elsewhere?
We don’t have statistics for the city, but for Tennessee the answer seems to be yes. In 2016, Nash ranked #170 in the state, compared to #286 nationwide. Or to put it another way, 2% of the US population lives in Tennessee, but about 4% of the country’s Nashes were born there last year (53 out of 1254).
The influence of Nashville extends outside the state, too – like with this Iowa boy who was named Nash after the city in 2014. Which brings it round full circle, since the city was named after revolutionary general Francis Nash.
Unisex names: Dylan
Let’s talk some more about that middle name, Dylan. The figures are that it ranks #32 for boys and #394 for girls – so it’s a mainstream unisex name that leans more male.
What does that mean in practice? This piece by a teenage girl called Dylan gives some insight into the reality of having a name that’s more common for the opposite sex. It includes a lot of disbelief that she’s female, and assumptions about why her parents picked the name, but also a lot of compliments.
The imbalance between the number of boy Dylans and girl Dylans was much bigger in 2000, when she was born, so this might predict the future for girls given names with more of a gap today, like Micah and Kai. Or maybe we can hope that people’s assumptions will have changed by then.
All the alliteration
Sometimes parents wonder if alliteration is a good idea, either between siblings or in one child’s name. Here are a couple of stories that show both are definitely doable.
Family names can at times be more important than avoiding alliteration. That might be the case for Willow Wendy Wood, the new daughter of Australian reality contestants Sam Wood and Snezana Markoski. Her middle name honors Sam’s mother.
A lot of name nerds love finding out the names of multiple births, so you’ll understand when I say I couldn’t resist clicking on this story about identical triplets. Their names are Liam, Lawrence and Logan: clearly a matching set, but to me they’re different enough that it’s not too confusing. What do you think?
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on October 19th, 2017 at 8:02 am
Dylan is NOT a gender neutral name. It is a BOY’S name. I’m sick and tired of US culture butchering names from other cultures. This American is proud to have Welsh blood running through her veins, and I hate seeing Welsh names (like Dylan), now being given the treatment so many Irish names have had in the past. Urgh.
on October 19th, 2017 at 11:34 am
@maggiemary Well, the author of the piece is a girl, and Dylan is her name, as it is the name of thousands of other girls. So clearly, Dylan is not exclusively a boys’ name.
on October 19th, 2017 at 3:00 pm
Sorry, but yes, there are girls named Dylan and will continue to be. The world will keep on spinning.
on October 20th, 2017 at 7:40 am
@Beynotce – the name is Welsh. In Wales it’s strictly a boy’s name, so yes, it’s a boy’s name. It isn’t an American name, it isn’t for us to decide if it’s gender free.
@Clairels – I know girls are called Dylan, but my point is, just because some ignorant parents give their daughter a boy’s name, it doesn’t make the name unisex. If I stand in a garage, it doesn’t make me a car. As I just said, in Wales it’s a boy’s name, so the name is a boy’s name. It’s the culture that the name is from that dictates that.
on October 24th, 2017 at 12:00 am
No person or culture ‘owns’ a name, though it may claim its origin. It’s the changes and refining of words that makes them so fascinating, so rich with meaning.
And I’m sure there are female Dylans in Wales, too.
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